Watch this: China surveillance tech seeks to go global

Chinese firms are omnipresent at a Paris homeland security trade show, capitalising on their vast experience in developing surveillance systems for Beijing to conquer the global market despite concerns the technology has been used to violate human rights.

With 89 out of 1,100 companies demonstrating their wares at the Milipol security trade fair, China is the best represented of the 53 nations present save for host nation France.

But contrary to weapons and ammunition on display at other stands, Chinese firms offer non-lethal equipment: helmets, bullet-proof vests and tactical clothing for special forces or riot troops. Jamming equipment. And cameras, lots of cameras.

China is known for its heavy police surveillance, with market research firm IHS Markit estimating it has already deployed 176 million cameras to monitor public spaces across the country.

That number is expected to expand to 2.76 billion, or nearly two for each citizen, by 2022.

Coupled with facial recognition technology, in which China is also a world leader, the surveillance network is an important element of Chinese efforts to control its population.